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Professor CHENG Sze Lok, Alfred

Professor CHENG Sze Lok, Alfred

Assistant Dean (Research)

Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences

CUHK Employment
  • Assistant Dean (Research), Faculty of Medicine
  • Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Deputy Chief, Cancer Biology and Experimental Therapeutics Theme, School of Biomedical Sciences


  • Epigenetics
  • Cancer biology


Education & Qualifications

B.Sc. (CUHK), M.Phil. (CUHK), Ph.D. (CUHK)


Research Interests
  • Cancer epigenetics
  • Tumor immunology and immunotherapy
  • Enhancer regulation 
  • Molecular pathogenesis of liver cancer


Additional Information

Award & Honour

  • Visiting Professorship Award, Southwest Medical University, 2018
  • Asa Briggs Visiting Fellowship Award, University of Sussex, 2017
  • CUHK Young Researcher Award 2014, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2015
  • Most Promising Young Investigator Award, Food and Health Bureau, The Government of Hong Kong SAR, 2014
  • High-impact Scholarship 2011-12, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2012
  • Research Excellence Award 2011-12, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2012
  • Travel Grant Award for Basic Scientists, United European Gastroenterology Week, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Distinguished Abstract Award, Digestive Disease Week, 2008
  • AACR-Eli Lilly Scholar-in-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2006
  • AACR-AFLAC Scholar-in-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2004
  • AACR-ITO EN, LTD. Scholar-in-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research, 2004
  • Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship, Hong Kong, China, 2001
  • Arthur Yau Award, 17th Annual Meeting of the Hong Kong Orthopaedic Association, 1997
  • Sik Sik Yuen Scholarship, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1995


Professional Service

  • Experts Panel for Ministry of Science and Technology of China, People Republic of China
  • Founding Chairman and Council Member, Japan-Taiwan-Hong Kong Working Group on Cancer Epigenomics
  • Executive Committee Member, Hong Kong Cancer Institute
  • Associate Editor, Cancers
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Genetics
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Council member, Hong Kong Society for Immunology
  • Member, Society of Hong Kong Scholars 
  • Member, American Association for Cancer Research


Academic Engagement in CUHK

  • Course Coordinator, BSc in Biomedical Sciences Programme
  • Course Coordinator, MBChB Programme
  • Chairman, Distinction Viva in Biochemistry, MBChB Programme
  • Postgraduate supervisor, MPhil / PhD in Biomedical Sciences
  • Mentor, Global Physician Stream (GPS), MBChB Programme
  • Member, Selection Interview Committee, BSc in Biomedical Sciences Programme
  • Member, Pre-clinical Education Committee, MBChB Programme
  • Member, New Asia College Committee on General Education
  • Member, New Asia College Committee on Environmental Protection
  • Vice President, The Staff Association of New Asia College

Selected Publications


  1. Yang W, Feng Y, Zhou J, Cheung OK, Cao JQ, Wang J, Tang WS, Tu YL, Xu LL, Wu F, Tan Z, Sun H, Tian Y, Wong J, Lai PB, Chan SL, Chan AW, Tan P, Chen Z, Sung JJ, Yip KYL, To KF, Cheng AS*. (2021) A selective HDAC8 inhibitor potentiates antitumor immunity and efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade in hepatocellular carcinoma. Science Translational Medicine, 13(588):eaaz6804.
  2. Liu M, Zhou J, Liu X, Feng Y, Yang W, Wu F, Cheung OK, Sun H, Zeng X, Tang W, Mok MT, Wong J, Yeung PC, Lai PB, Jin H, Chen J, Chan SL, Chan AW, To KF, Chen Z, Sung JJ, Chen M, Cheng AS*. (2020). Targeting Monocyte-intrinsic Enhancer Reprogramming Improves Immunotherapy Efficacy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Gut, 69(2):365-379.
  3. Yuan T, Yang B, Qiu W, Hao Y, Zhang Z, Yang B, Li N, Cheng S, Lin Z, Rui YC, Cheung OK, Wu WK, Yang W, Cheung Y, Lai PB, Luo J, Sung JJ, Chen R, Wang H, Cheng AS*, Yang P*. (2019). ER-residential Nogo-B accelerates NAFLD-associated HCC mediated by metabolic reprogramming of oxLDL lipophagy. Nature Communications, 10(1):339 
  4. Xiong L, Wu F, Wu Q, Xu L, Cheung OK, Kang W, Mok MT, Szeto LLM, Lun CY, Lung RW, Zhang J, Yu KH, Lee SD, Huang G, Wang CM, Liu J, Yu Z, Yu DY, Chou JL, Huang WH, Feng B, Cheung YS, Lai PB, Tan P, Wong N, Chan MW, Huang TH, Yip KY*, Cheng AS*, To KF*. (2019). Aberrant enhancer hypomethylation contributes to hepatic carcinogenesis through global transcriptional reprogramming. Nature Communications, 10(1):335.
  5. Sun H, Yang W, Tian Y, Zeng X, Zhou J, Mok MTS, Tang W, Feng Y, Xu L, Chan AWH, Tong JH, Cheung YS, Lai PBS, Wang HKS, Tsang SW, Chow KL, Hu M, Liu R, Huang L, Yang B, Yang P, To KF, Sung JJY, Wong GLH*, Wong VWS*, Cheng AS*. (2018). An inflammatory-CCRK circuitry drives mTORC1-dependent metabolic and immunosuppressive reprogramming in obesity-associated hepatocellular carcinoma. Nature Communications, 9(1):5214.
  6. Zhou J, Liu M, Sun H, Feng Y, Xu L, Chan AWH, Tong JH, Wong J, Chong CCN, Lai PBS, Wang HK, Tsang SW, Goodwin T, Liu R, Huang L, Chen Z, Sung JJ, Chow KL, To KF, Cheng AS*. (2018). Hepatoma-intrinsic CCRK inhibition diminishes myeloid-derived suppressor cell immunosuppression and enhances immune-checkpoint blockade efficacy. Gut67, 931-944.
  7. Feng H, Yu Z, Tian Y, Lee YY, Li MS, Go MY, Cheung YS, Lai PB, Chan AM, To KF, Chan HL, Sung JJ, Cheng AS*. (2015). A CCRK-EZH2 epigenetic circuitry drives hepatocarcinogenesis and associates with tumor recurrence and poor survival of patients. Journal of Hepatology, 62(5), 1100-11
  8. Yu Z, Gao YQ, Feng H, Lee YY, Li MS, Tian Y, Go MY, Yu DY, Cheung YS, Lai PB, Yu J, Wong VW, Sung JJ, Chan HL, Cheng AS*. (2014). Cell cycle-related kinase mediates viral-host signalling to promote hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocarcinogenesis. Gut, 63(11), 1793-1804. 
  9. Cheng AS*, Li MS, Kang W, Cheng VY, Chou JL, Lau SS, Go MY, Lee CC, Ling TK, Ng EK, Yu J, Huang TH, To KF, Chan MW, Sung JJ, Chan FK*. (2013). Helicobacter pylori causes epigenetic dysregulation of FOXD3 to promote gastric carcinogenesis. Gastroenterology, 144(1), 122-133.e9.
  10. Feng H, Cheng AS*, Tsang DP, Li MS, Go MY, Cheung YS, Zhao GJ, Ng SS, Lin MC, Yu J, Lai PB, To KF, Sung JJ*. (2011). Cell cycle–related kinase is a direct androgen receptor-regulated gene driving ß-catenin/T-cell factor-dependent hepatocarcinogenesis. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 121(8), 3159-3175.


*(co-)corresponding author